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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDH55071
Recording details: December 1984
Seldon Hall, Haberdashers' Aske's School, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Mike Clements
Release date: August 1988
Total duration: 11 minutes 21 seconds

'The Nash’s superb 1984 set of Malcolm Arnold’s chamber music makes a welcome return. The wide stereo spread of the quintets … enhances the sense of being in the room with the musicians’ (BBC Music Magazine)

'The playing of the various members of the Nash Ensemble is impeccable, as indeed is the recording' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'Reveals Arnold at his most inventive: tuneful, witty and ingenious … The performances by the individual members of the Nash are impeccable. This set may one day be equalled but it is unlikely to be bettered, and it deserves classic status' (International Record Review)

‘An entertaining, at times compelling portrait of a British composer whose true measure we’re only just beginning to gauge' (Classic FM Magazine)

Viola Sonata, Op 17

Andante  [4'10]
Presto feroce  [2'10]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In the opening section of the Viola Sonata themes initiated by the viola and imitated by the piano become increasingly more agitated and fragmented, building up to a powerful fortissimo climax. Fresh material appears in the rhetorical middle section, which leads to a sombre Adagio (mysterious glissandos in artificial harmonics and pizzicato for viola) and a shortened recapitulation. In the second movement the viola sings quietly in upper registers and more sonorously on the lower strings, the meditative, forlorn aspects of its character perfectly caught in the music. The finale opens with a furious outburst of scales and repeated-note figures, but forward movement is momentarily halted by a fragment of a ghostly march. Viola and piano return to the fray; the pace slackens, and the viola remembers first-movement mysteries in a brooding adagio before the final prestissimo brings reminiscences to an abrupt end.

from notes by Hugo Cole © 1988

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